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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Finding the Meaning of the Gene

The last decade has seen genomics come into its own, with the sequencing of the complete human genome, and the encoding of approximately 100,000 proteins, of which several thousand are of potential pharmaceutical use. This has prompted many institutes in academia, as well as Big Pharma and numerous new companies, to participate in this revolutionary work. A broad range of techniques have now been developed to compare healthy and malignant cells or tissues to find 'the needle in the haystack', that is the genes that are responsible for diseases. Stock markets worldwide have recognised these billion dollar opportunities and funded the search for this encoding which could potentially discover valuable new drugs.All these efforts have led to an enormous number of nucleotide sequences that need to undergo 'proof of principle' by translating them into a functional protein and in vivo testing. Screening, production and test systems are extremely time sensitive and often crucial for the survival of a drug through the development cycle, not to mention crucial for the survival of companies active in the field of genomics. Therefore protein production and assay systems need to be chosen carefully with respect to speed, performance and the possibility of eventual mass production, without changing the system.


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By Michael Zang-Gandor, CEO of EugeneX Biotechnologies GmbH

Michael Zang-Gandor is President and CEO of EugeneX Biotechnologies GmbH, a Swiss-based research, development and service company engaged in protein production, strain, cell line and process development.
As the co-founder he specialised in the expression of recombinant proteins in serum-free mammalian cells at ETH-Zurich and Novartis AG.

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Michael Zang-Gandor
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